Randall Ott, philanthropist, dead at 51
Business owner remembered by colleagues as a generous man.
By Diana Sevanian
Signal Staff Writer
Friday, July 18, 2003
e made his fortune in stone but is now remembered as a man who had a heart of gold.
Business owner and philanthropist Randy Ott of Valencia, seen with his wife Anna, died suddenly of an apparent heart attack in Alaska Thursday. He was 51.
Photo by Diana Sevanian/The Signal
Valencia resident Randall Ott, 51, died suddenly Thursday in Alaska, the victim of an apparent heart attack, sources close to his family said.
There with his wife Anna Ott at their recently purchased Prince of Wales Island vacation home, Ott was the owner of Import Stone, Inc. a company in Van Nuys that deals in granite and marble from all over the world.
A supporter of numerous philanthropic causes throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, Ott's demise came as a shock to many.
"I cannot believe he is gone," said Don Fleming of Valencia Acura. "Just two weeks ago Cheri and were in Las Vegas with the Otts and John and Suzy Reardon. We were there celebrating Randy's birthday. He was so full of energy and life."
Fleming said he was unaware of Ott having any history of heart trouble. He did know, however, that Ott had gone into sudden respiratory distress while in bed around 5 a.m.
"Anna tried to revive him with mouth-to-mouth but was unable to do so," Fleming said. "Rescue attempts (from emergency responders) were also fruitless. He was gone."
A man of material wealth who shared what he had, recipients of his generosity included: Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center, the Child and Family Center and College of the Canyons. He also helped finance the large amount of cement that went into constructing Hart High School's baseball dugouts last year.
Ott had a great sense of humor and always saw to it that everyone was taken care of, Fleming said.
"He never said no to anyone, he was such a giving person," Fleming said. "He was also very generous with waitresses, porters and valets. Randy was good to the bone."
Allan Cameron also hailed Ott as someone with a sincere desire to give to others.
"Randy was the personification of humility and graciousness with no desire to ever get anything back for himself," Cameron said. "He supported this community with his hard-earned money because he wanted to. He was the antithesis of self-aggrandizement."
Signal publisher, Ethel Nakutin, said she came to know the Otts through various charity events that she and the couple supported.
"Randy was the kind of guy that walked the walk, he did things quietly behind the scenes and took care of a lot of people who could not take care of themselves," Nakutin said.
City Councilman Bob Kellar who was supposed to have been on that trip to Alaska but could not join the Otts due to city business said the community has lost a great humanitarian.
"There was certainly no better member or supporter of this community than Randy," Kellar said. "Both he and Anna have given of themselves tirelessly and we all have so much to be grateful for."
Diana Vose, president of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation, said local businessmen, John Reardon and Jim Lauffer have flown to Alaska to support their grieving friend. She also expressed sadness over Ott's death.
"Both Randy and Anna have been incredible supporters of the hospital and most non-profits in this valley it is hard to imagine that one who is so generous and good can be taken so early in life," she said. "My heart goes out to Anna and their daughter, Deana."
Vose recalled how after the devastating 1994 earthquake Randy Ott donated a granite donor wall to Newhall Memorial.
"The granite wall in the hospital lobby was the Ott's first big donation," Vose said. "After the earthquake we were going through so many repairs and reconstruction and to have this new donor wall be the end result of all that work was a shining start."
Dianne Van Hook, superintendent/president of COC said she had recently come to know Ott better through the increasing number of college foundation events he was attending.
"My interactions with him left me with the impression that he was a very humble and caring individual who did good for others, not for anything personal," Van Hook said. "He was generous and genuine. He loved what he did and knew the importance of balancing work with his family and personal interests."
Ott's sudden death is not only tragic, it also serves as a reminder that our time on earth is precious and unpredictable, Don Fleming said.
"We never know when we go to bed at night if we are going to get up the next morning," Fleming said. "Make sure you sure you tell the people you love that you love them and do the very best you can do. There is no timetable in life."
As of press time Randall Ott's funeral arrangements are pending.
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